Glenn Beck is a Mormon. He is a recently adopted Texan, an ardent supporter of Israel, and the Seven hundred thousand and first, member of CUFI, Christians United for Israel. On July 19, he came to Washington to present the closing address of the organization’s Sixth Washington Summit. Beck is a master of the spoken word. That skill, coupled with a striking level of emotion, made for a noteworthy discourse. His words were emotional, involved, and promising.
“Fourteen days ago, I spent two days in Auschwitz. It profoundly changed me as a human being. Until you stand in the gas chambers, you don’t have any real idea of what this is about.”
On that note of emotional connection, Glenn Beck began his conversation. “We all know that it makes sense that we are all alike – by virtue of our humanity – our rights coupled with our responsibility. Jews and Gentiles have a basic right to live…to create something of value.”
He continued. “As I continued to walk towards Birkenau, my fear began to grow – a fear that should have been eradicated with the Nazi defeat, but still grew….fear caused by my understanding that the world is turning a blind eye to the same kind of evil.”
Beck asked “how do we protect one another?…The Jewish people, for thirteen centuries, were run out of their homeland. Then came the Crusades… The Jewish people need to know that Christians know their history, have seen it, understood it and are appalled by it,”
Acknowledging that the Jewish people have rightfully learned not to trust anyone and recognize that “no one can protect your rights better than you,” he asked that all remember that “there is an enormous amount of room as long as you want to be part of the family of mankind.”
Questioning the vocabulary of world politics, he asked why Israel, historically the land of the Jews – is called “occupier?” With a bit of humor, Beck added “Only two countries are having this problem… the great Satan and the little Satan.” Turning more serious, he said “the good people of the world must remember there is a difference between good and evil, and we must choose.”
A shout rang out. So often at such events, an interruption signals a protestor or an angry heckler. Not on this night. “We love you Glenn Beck” echoed clearly across the expansive ballroom.
Continuing his identification of evil, Beck said “the mask is off. No amount of cloaking can hide evil from those who have the courage to open their eyes and stare the truth in the face.” Word by word, point by point, concept by concept, Beck established “so many reasons for us to link arms with one another…As Israel goes, so goes the western way of life.” Turning scriptural he mused “the one God of Abraham knows that we will be judged as people and as nations on how we treat Israel….Christians must stand together because we, as people, must remember the promise: we will never forget!.. not only if we will stand, but also why we will stand: and that is because of love for our fellow man and that we have learned the lessons of four thousand years. We must love one another, and see Israelis as us.”
Beck recalled meeting one of the Righteous Among the Nations in Krakow, a woman who at 15 saved the lives of her Jewish neighbors. Held in the Ghetto and condemned to exist on 230 calories a day, she brought soup, first for one, then for four, then more. She and her family soon began hiding people in their own home, under the floor boards of their barn.
“How did you become righteous?” he had asked her. Her answer: “we just held the line. We just must remain human. Darkness can be defeated only by light; hatred only by love.”
“I have made my choice” said Beck. I am trying to teach my children courage to water the seed of righteousness within them, so the roots will be deep… My family will stand against anyone trying to erase or round up any group of people because of hate – just because of who they are – Jew, Gentile, or Muslim.”
His summary remarks were specifically focused. “If a despised regime has the right to kill Jews and frighten those who stand with them, I declare, count me a Jew and come for me first! When we all stand together, when we all raise our hands, we change the world. They cannot kill all of us. Let us declare: I am a Jew.” The audience came to its feet and as the room erupted with applause, Beck continued “Our Jewish friends must all know that those who wish them harm must be warmed. This still is America. We are not the Christians of the Crusades; we are the Christians United For Israel! We mutually.